After a hiatus of at least 15 years, white rhino will once again be present in Hwange. Years of planning and preparation will finally culminate in the translocation of two white rhino from the south-east of Zimbabwe to the border of Hwange National Park in just a couple of days .
Despite the pandemic, which wreaked havoc on our business, Imvelo have pressed on with a dream which had its origins well before Covid-19. As we saw our tourist traffic disappear, we still pushed through, step by step, with the requirements to bring rhino back to Hwange.
The two rhino were on the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve and held in boma for a few weeks while they settled down. In just a few days, we will be loading them into special container trucks. This will be followed by a slow and careful ten-hour journey across Zimbabwe. Expectations are high among the communities at our destination – imagine children pouring out of classrooms as the trucks pass a local school – and if we can win with this young audience it will be one sure step on the way to securing the future of the species in and around Hwange.
Stay tuned to see how the next few days unfold!
Our dreams started to materialize into ‘boots on the ground’ two years ago with the recruiting of our first batch of the Cobras Community Wildlife Protection Unit who are all from the local villages. Since then, buildings have gone up, the area secured with electrified fences built to spec, and training, training, training continued with the Cobras.
Named CRCI – Community Rhino Conservation Initiative – the long term objectives are:·
To create a viable socio-economic development model for the rural communities along the southern Hwange National Park border, catalyzed by the re-introduction of rhino into community-based wildlife areas.
To create a viable, self-sustaining buffer zone conservancy along the southern boundary of Hwange that incorporates a Big-5 certified fence that controls problem animal movement and minimises human-wildlife conflict.
To re-establish free-roaming populations of white and then black rhinoceros along the northern boundary of Tsholotsho Rural District and ultimately in Hwange National Park.
To promote local socio-economic development through rhino conservation and to empower communities to better directly benefit from wildlife conservation.
This is an extremely exciting time for the Imvelo team around the world, and we will be sharing more updates as our rhino arrive in the coming days and then further to that, will keep everyone updated on how our rhino are settling in.
Contact us for more information about our Community Rhino Conservation Initiative
Credit to Aaron Gekoski for some of the imagery